The Fibromyalgia Story by Kristin K. Baker

By Kristin K. Baker

Greater than six million americans - so much of them girls - were clinically determined with the arguable scientific sickness fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). a result of absence of definitive physiological markers, a well-understood reason, or powerful therapy, FMS is debatable. Many have puzzled if FMS is a "real" ailment or if girls victims are modern day hysterics. Amidst the debate, thousands of ladies stay with their very genuine indicators. instead of taking aspects within the heated FMS debate, Kristin Barker explains how FMS represents an ungainly union among the practices of recent medication and the complexity of women's discomfort. utilizing interviews with victims, Barker specializes in how the assumption of FMS provides which means and order to girls beset by way of troubling indicators, self-doubt, and public skepticism. This publication deals a clean examine a debatable prognosis, avoids overly simplistic factors, and empathizes with victims with out wasting sight of medicine's energy over our lives.

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When pain lasts long enough and is intense enough, the argument goes, it tricks the body's neurochemistry into perceiving pain when there are Copyrighted Material 32 Chapter 1 no painful stimuli. Ordinarily, the experience of acute pain is in proportion to painful stimuli; when we get injured, we experience pain; as the injury heals, the pain too subsides. Researchers argue that this framework does not apply to chronic pain states wherein no direct link is found between an injury (painful stimuli) and the experience of pain.

First, the symptoms ofFMs and depression overlap: pain, fatigue, memory problems, and sleep irregularities. There are also high rates of co morbidity between the disorders: 50 to 70 percent of those with FMS have a history of depression. Third, low levels of antidepressant medications are among the most effective (of otherwise ineffective) medical treatments for FMS. Finally, as discussed above, the neurological findings that have been advanced as characteristic abnormalities of FMS, including serotonin metabolism and HPA axis dysregulation, are also characteristic of depression and anxiety (Hudson and Pope 1996).

Was it possible to identify patients with fibrositis as Smythe suggested? Was there a subset of patients who could be conceptually disentangled from the amorphous category of psychogenic rheumatism? Answering these questions was the next stage in the diagnostic making of FMS. Stage Two: The Entrepreneurial Challenge During the 1980s, a small number of diagnostic entrepreneurs picked up where Smythe left off. The key players were four university-based rheumatologists: Muhammad Yunus (Peoria School of Medicine) , Robert Bennett (Oregon Health Sciences University), Frederick Wolfe (University of Kansas School of Medicine), and Don Goldenberg (Boston U niversity School of Medicine ).

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